Former President Goodluck Jonathan has come down hard on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over claims that the Jonathan administration plunged the nation into debt through humongous corruption.
Speaking at a lecture in Lagos on Monday, Osinbajo said the previous administration should be held responsible for the recession, debt and general hardship that Nigerians have grappled with or are still experiencing.
But responding through one of his ex-aides, Reno Omokri, Jonathan accused Osinbajo of lacking a sense of irony.
He said it was rather sad that Osinbajo, who was recently indicted by the House of Representatives for corruption, could attack others over the same thing.
“How can Vice -President Osinbajo, a man who had just been indicted by the House of Representatives in one of the biggest corruption scams ever in Nigeria ’s history, have the gall to point fingers of suspicion at Dr. Jonathan , a man that is celebrated internationally for his efforts at achieving Nigeria ’s best rating in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index when Nigeria improved eight paces from 144 to 136 in 2014?
“Having read through the sordid details of Prof . Osinbajo’s corruption as revealed in the indictment by Nigeria ’s House of Representatives , it is easy to understand why Nigeria made her worst ever retrogression in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions under him this year , moving 11 paces backwards from 136 to 148.
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“On the issue of debt , the fact remains that in the entire 16 years that the Peoples Democratic Party governed Nigeria , the total amount of money borrowed was N 8.06 trn . These are facts sourced directly from the Budget Office controlled by the Buhari administration .
“However , in only three years , the All Progressives Congress -led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has borrowed a total of N 10 trn . With this fact in hand , where does Vice- President Osinbajo have the moral authority to point leprous fingers at former President Jonathan ?
“The claim by Vice- President Osinbajo that former President Jonathan left $ 63 bn in debt is also a false claim. The Jonathan administration inherited $ 42 .23 bn in debt in 2011 which were debts borrowed by the states and the Federal Government.
Furthermore, he said the President Muhammadu Buhari plunged the nation into debt because it lacked fiscal discipline like the Jonathan administration.
The statement further read, “On Tuesday , November 13 , 2018 , the Debt Management Office revealed that in just 2017 alone , the Buhari administration borrowed N 2. 4trn to fund their budget deficit . This is besides other loans that they took in 2017 alone . That money is more than the funds borrowed by the Jonathan administration in five years !
“ To show to Nigerians the profligacy and ineptitude of the current administration , I draw their attention to the fact that between July and August 2018 , the Buhari administration claimed it had shared $322m Abacha funds recovered by the Jonathan administration to the poor . Then a week after it made that announcement , the Buhari government borrowed $ 328 m from China.
“The question is this , why would you share out $ 322 m one week only to borrow the same amount the next week ? Why not use the Abacha funds to fund government activities instead of adding to the already strained debt burden?
“These are questions that Vice -President Osinbajo should answer rather than making false allegations against former President Jonathan.”